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Front Psychol. 2013 May 15;4:269. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00269. eCollection 2013.

Different conceptions of mental illness: consequences for the association with patients.

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Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Campus Benjamin Franklin, Charité - University Medicine Berlin Berlin, Germany.


Whenever partial knowledge is considered absolute and turned into ideological and dogmatic conceptions, the risk increases that the conditions for the people involved might become dangerous. This will be illustrated by casuistic examples of consequences of one-sided psychiatric conceptions such as social, biological, and psychological ideas about the treatment and care of the mentally ill. Present perspectives of an integrative model, i.e., an advanced bio-psycho-social conception about evidence-based characteristics on the social, psychological, and molecular-genetic level, require that all of these dimensions should be considered in order to personalize and thereby improve the care and treatment of the mentally ill.


absolutization of partial conceptions; bio-psycho-social model; conceptions of mental illness; instrumentalization of the ill; normative content of human experience; preference diagnosis; social hygiene; social space of the family

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